Thursday, March 31, 2016

Being the Best for Him

     In our office the other day, several of us ladies were discussing how we used to dress for Easter Sunday during our growing up years.  We agreed that we wore a pretty hat, white gloves, a special new dress and in my case, my father always bought pretty corsages for each of us.  To be certain, it was a special day so we wore our best.  I once asked my mother about why it was so important to dress up for church.  Her response was simple.  She said that in all things we do for the Lord we should offer our best.  My mother was not implying that "our best" had to be the most expensive.  Rather than cost, our "best" is a matter of the heart.  Jesus pointed this out to His disciples.
     Luke, in his Gospel, records the observation of our Lord (Chapter 21:1-4):  "Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.  And He said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"
Our Savior pointed out the difference in offerings to make the point that the widow was truly making a sacrificial offering to the Lord out of a heart that was right with God.  On the other hand, the more wealthy people were giving out of their abundance.  They gave to the Lord, but was it their best?  In the case of the widow, she gave her very best to God for along with this gift she also gave her heart.
     Whether it is clothing, our service to the community, our jobs or work within the church itself, we need to really examine our motives.  We are ambassadors for Christ in this world; therefore, we need to consider how well we are representing Him in all areas.  Striving for the best is something that the Apostle Paul frequently talked about when he said:  "24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever" (I Corinthians 9:23-25).
     Our goal here on earth is not to impress people or perform to earn man's praise but rather, we are to live in such a way that reflects our respect, love and obedience to God our heavenly Father.  Holy living in all areas is something that often gets put on a shelf like our Bibles do.  We forget that the way we talk, dress and behave towards others reflects either a life changed by Christ or one that is lived to please man.  Unfortunately, our culture has gotten so casual in the way we dress and approach God that there is often little difference between us and unbelievers.  Yet, we are called to be holy as He is holy.  I Peter 1:15-16 says:  "15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  Let me give one more example.
     When my husband and I traveled to Europe for an anniversary trip, we visited England where we had the privilege to tour Buckingham Palace since the queen was not in residence.  It was a beautiful palace inside and out.  Now imagine with me that the queen had been in residence and we were invited to meet her.  Out of respect for her, I would have worn my best clothes and shown her due courtesy.  Likewise, I would be careful in my speech and behavior.  If I would do this for an earthly person in a high position, how much more should I do this for my heavenly Father who made me?
     Indeed, the days of hats, gloves and corsages may have passed with time, but that does not mean
we cannot offer God our best in worship, dress, behavior and words.  Let us learn to be holy as He is holy that we may reflect His glory and show Him the respect He is due.  Selah!

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